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U.S. Coast Guard impounds 5.8 tons of cocaine

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The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Steadfast on Monday offloaded over 11,600 pounds (5.8 tons) of cocaine and 5,500 pounds (2.75 tons) of marijuana worth $158 million in San Diego.

The drugs were seized during counter-narcotics patrols in the Eastern Pacific Ocean between May and July by crews of the Coast Guard cutters Vigilant, Mohawk and Steadfast.

Numerous U.S. agencies, including the Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, worked alongside the Mexican Navy in the operation.

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The U.S. Coast Guard emphasised the importance of unity in the fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, from detection to criminal prosecution. The Eleventh Coast Guard District leads the law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations, including interdictions and boardings.

“Nothing is guaranteed when a Coast Guard crew says ‘goodbye’ to loved ones and embarks on a multi-month patrol,” said Cmdr. Brock Eckel, commanding officer of the Steadfast. “However, our team worked incredibly hard, day-and-night, to stop three smuggling vessels, preventing more than five tons of illicit narcotics from reaching American soil.”

The Steadfast is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Astoria, Oregon.

Source: Ships and Ports